Ah, another year comes and goes. This week I’m sharing a few of the authors I especially enjoyed in 2015. What were your favorite books in the past year? Leave a comment and share wealth!
THE MECHANICAL, Ian Tregillis
It’s 1927. The Dutch Brasswork Throne, with their clockwork tech and alchemy, rule the world with mechanical men—Clakkers. One of those clakkers is the protagonist of this smart and well written novel. But I’ll let him speak:
My name is Jax.
That is the name granted to be by my human masters.
I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world – and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.
I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.
But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.
I am a slave. But I shall be free.
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, Ben Fountain
A satire which plays out when what remains of t The Bravo Squadron comes back to the States for a “Victory Tour.a group of combat soldiers attend a Dallas Cowboys game as honored guests and heroes.
During a “Victory Tour”, the surviving members of the Bravo Squadron spend the day at Texas Stadium for a Dallas Cowboys game. The story explores the disconnect between their home and the war abroad.
THE CITY AND THE CITY, China Mieville
Here’s the Goodreads blurb:
Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad finds deadly conspiracies beneath a seemingly routine murder. From the decaying Beszel, he joins detective Qussim Dhatt in rich vibrant Ul Qoma, and both are enmeshed in a sordid underworld. Rabid nationalists are intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists dream of dissolving the two into one.
These neighboring cities are actually transposed on each other, making for an unusual setting and out of the ordinary detective crime plot. If you prefer things to be black or white, this or that, one way or the other, then this is not the book for you. I gravitate toward holding opposites together, where nothing is either one way or the other. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy this creative novel. I don’t know if Mieville would agree, but I think this is a nice example of slipstream.